Speed Kills (But It’s Not the Only Danger Stalking Your Teen Driver)

Author: Robert Ragazzo: Certified Defensive Driving Instructor and Father of 2 Young Drivers

We’ve all heard the mantra a thousand times: “Speed kills!”

speedometerAs parents of teenage drivers we know it’s true. Chances are good that your teen driver has heard the phrase a time or two as well. The problem is that your teen may not really believe it’s true—especially when it comes to his or her driving. The Allstate Foundation reported that some 55 percent of teens they surveyed said that they at least occasionally exceed the posted speed limits by more than 10 miles per hour.

The scary thing about this is that according to National Safety Council statistics, for every 10 MPH over 55, the chances of being killed in a crash DOUBLES! What’s scarier still, 40 percent of the surveyed teens claim that they plan to continue exceeding the posted limits in the future.

It’s not just driving too fast that’s the problem, however. A lot of teenage drivers falsely believe they are safe drivers. According to the Allstate survey, close to half of them claimed to be “defensive” drivers.  They saw themselves as “safe” drivers. But they also claimed that more than 60 percent of their peers were “aggressive” drivers. This shows  a complete “disconnect” between perception and reality.

Unfortunately, there is some misconception among teens as to what makes a driver a “safe” driver. More than 50 percent of teenage drivers surveyed were under the impression that most teenage car crashes came about as a result of drinking and driving. The fact is that fewer than 25 percent of those crashes involve alcohol. Of course that’s still far too many, but it means that 75 percent of teen crashes are due to other driving mistakes.

Time and time again, we’ve run into teenage drivers (and older drivers) who are under the impression that learning basic driving skills and having good reflexes will keep them out of danger when they’re behind the wheel. What they’re missing—and don’t even know it—is the mental preparedness that safe driving requires.

That’s why Save Your Teen Driver offers the world’s first online driver evaluation and training tool. You can evaluate how your teen is doing now—and you can give him or her training in the six core areas of safe driving. Training that can, and is, life-saving.

Speed may kill, but it’s only 1 of the 6 major driving threats facing your teenage driver.

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